Scottish Water Announces £30 million Investment in Scottish Borders

20 March 2019

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A major new £30 million upgrade of the water services in the Borders has been unveiled by Scottish Water.

The project will deliver improved treatment processes and a more resilient supply to over 20,000 households and businesses across several towns and villages including Selkirk, Galashiels, Melrose, Lauder, Fountainhall and Newton St Boswells. The project will also deliver environmental benefits. 
 
It will involve constructing a new 7 mile pipeline between Selkirk and Galashiels, building a new water storage tank to the south of Selkirk, installing new treatment processes at the Howden Water Treatment Works near Selkirk and turning off the Manse Street Water Treatment Works in Galashiels which is coming to the end of its serviceable life and converting it into a service reservoir. 

The works will take place in phases over the next two years with the vast majority on private land away from local roads.  
 
Mark Dickson, Scottish Water’s Director of Capital Investment said: 
 
“This work to improve the water supply for the Selkirk and Galalshiels area of the Scottish Borders will ensure we can continue to supply high quality water in the area long into the future. This project will enable us to provide a better, more resilient service than ever before.” 

The project is broken down into three core elements, treatment, distribution and storage and will be delivered by Scottish Water’s alliance partners, ESD and CWA.
 
By upgrading the treatment process at Howden Water Treatment Works, the company will be able to provide clearer, fresher water than ever before. Part of these works will include the installation of new filters at the site, which will force up to 14million litres a day through 0.4 micrometre wide straws - 25 times narrower than the thickness of cling film.
 
A new water storage tank capable of holding nearly five Olympic sized swimming pools worth of water will be sympathetically landscaped in to the hillside next to the A7. 
 
A new 7-mile pipeline will connect the Manse Street Water Treatment Works to the new water storage tank in Selkirk. It will carry up to 5 million litres of treated water every day.  

For a short period whilst this is being installed there will be some traffic management on local roads including the A7 south of Selkirk and the A7 south of Galashiels, where temporary traffic lights will be set up. 

The pipeline will also need to cross burns and rivers. These water crossings will be carefully managed to reduce any possible environmental impacts. 

Manse Street Water Treatment Works to the west of Galashiels, will be switched off in 2020 and converted into service reservoir. This will help to improve flows in the Caddon Water during dry summer periods.  
 
Christine Grahame MSP Midlothian South, Tweeddale and Lauderdale said: 
 
“I am pleased to see Scottish Water’s announcement of an upgrade to the water services in the Borders.
 
“This is a significant investment which will bring long-lasting benefits to my constituents – including a better quality of water, greater supply capacity, and environmental benefits. 
 
“I look forward to seeing the project develop over the coming years.”

Rachael Hamilton MSP for Ettrick, Roxburgh and Berwickshire said:

“It’s fantastic news that there is going to be additional investment to the Scottish Borders by Scottish Water.
 
“Not only does it deliver improvements in terms of filtration, but also for the environment.
 
“It is vitally important that we not only have a sustainable and robust water supply and treatment system, but also one that is appropriate for our water courses and rivers.”